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Mexico’s New President: Good News for the Cannabis Industry, Bad News for the Cartels

Mexico’s New President: Good News for the Cannabis Industry, Bad News for the Cartels

Mexico’s new president, Claudia Sheinbaum, is a climate change scientist with a Jewish background. Her ascension to power is a positive sign for the country’s cannabis industry as she has long been a proponent of legalization.

Maureen Heehan, Bezinga Editor

24/06/13, 09:00

This report was first published in Bezinga on 3 Jue 2024. 


In 2024, Claudia Sheinbaum made history by becoming Mexico's first female president, securing her place as an iconic figure in the nation's political landscape. In a highly contested election, Sheinbaum, representing the "Sigamos Haciendo Historia" ("Keep Making History") coalition, won with 58.65% of the vote, outpacing her main rivals.


Born in Mexico City in 1962, Sheinbaum has successfully navigated both academia and politics. She holds a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and began her career as a researcher and professor. 


Her political journey gained momentum when she was appointed Secretary of the Environment for Mexico City in 2000 under Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration. In 2018, she broke new ground by becoming the first woman elected as Head of Government for Mexico City, though her term faced criticism following the 2021 metro collapse.


Claudia Sheinbaum: A Clear Stance On Cannabis


Sheinbaum has been a staunch advocate for decriminalizing recreational cannabis use, arguing that criminalizing young people for marijuana use is ineffective and harmful. "It's a right," Sheinbaum declared, emphasizing the need to replace current policies with those prioritizing education and public health.


The president-elect has pointed out that penalizing marijuana use disproportionately harms young people, who are the most vulnerable under current policies. In an interview with El Heraldo de México, Sheinbaum stressed that decriminalizing cannabis is essential to prevent the unjust criminalization of youth and to reduce drug-related violence: "The most important thing is not to criminalize young people. If we don't, we'll continue to face problems of violence and drug trafficking."


Sheinbaum has highlighted the need for a regulatory framework that benefits society as a whole. According to El Universal, she stated, "We must be careful and ensure that the policies we implement truly benefit society at large." Her vision includes comprehensive educational programs to inform citizens about responsible cannabis use and its health implications. A well-structured regulation, Sheinbaum believes, can significantly contribute to social justice and violence reduction.


Commitment To Human Rights And Gender Equality


Beyond her stance on cannabis, Sheinbaum has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights, promoting policies aimed at equality and against discrimination, as highlighted in an Infobae article.


In 2022, she shared on social media: "As Head of Government, we created the Comprehensive Health Unit for Trans People; by the end of 2022, 5,101 trans and non-binary people received free care. My dream is to continue fighting for the rights of sexual diversity, as I did in Mexico City."


Regarding women's rights, Sheinbaum has implemented various measures to combat gender violence in Mexico. Her approach includes strengthening institutions dedicated to protecting women and enacting public policies that address the roots of violence. Sheinbaum has emphasized education and awareness as key tools for eradicating gender violence and promoting equality.


In 2021, Sheinbaum supported the Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize abortion, stating that "it is done under different conditions" and that this measure is crucial for protecting women's reproductive rights and ensuring their autonomy.


While these declarations may sound promising to those who share her views, political promises should always be taken with caution. Only time will tell if Sheinbaum will remain consistent in her commitments to cannabis decriminalization and gender violence, two major issues plaguing the country.


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